Centre needs 'A' game

October 03, 2003|MIKE MARSEE

Centre College got its first bad grade of the season last weekend, but there's still a chance for the Colonels to turn things around before midterm.

Centre coach Andy Frye said it's important that they do that Saturday when they face rival Sewanee in their second straight road game and the last game of the first half of their season.

"I look at the Sewanee game as a springboard for us to have a good season," Frye said. "If we can learn to play with mental intensity, we will have a successful season."

Frye said Centre turned it its first subpar performance this season in its loss at Washington and Lee.

"We played our 'C' game last week, and Washington and Lee played their 'A' game," he said. "I don't want to take anything away from Washington and Lee, but I think if we had played our 'A' game we could've won."


Frye said he knows the Colonels are capable of more than they showed in their first loss.

"I've seen some A-game performances, but not for an entire game," he said. "What you want to do is continue to squeeze the best out of them, and that's what we're trying to do this week."

The Centre coach said it didn't take long for his team to regain its focus.

"We're going back into conference, and it's always a tough game for us, always a great rivalry. We didn't have to do a lot to get our kids ready for this," Frye said.

Frye added that that only applies to the Colonels' mental state of readiness. He said there was much preparation to be done to get them ready to face a surging Sewanee team.

Like Centre, Sewanee has one Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference game in the books. The Tigers lost 24-23 to Rose-Hulman three weeks ago, but they have since notched consecutive non-league wins.

Sewanee forced four turnovers in a 37-13 win over W&L, then racked up 397 yards in a 43-28 win at Maryville (Tenn.).

"They can put some points on the board," Frye said.

Freshman quarterback keys Sewanee's turnaround

A key to the Tigers' turnaround has been the maturation of freshman quarterback Wes Satterfield, who leads the SCAC in scoring (42 points) and ranks third in rushing (85.8 yards per game) and fourth in total offense (213.5).

Satterfield has had more rushing yards than passing yards in each of Sewanee's last two games, and last week he ran for 146 yards against Maryville.

"He's a freshman, but he's their star," Frye said. "He's more of a running threat than he is passing. If you give him some space, he'll take advantage of it."

Sewanee ranks last in the league in scoring defense and rushing defense despite the fact that the Tigers returned five of last year's top six tacklers.

The Centre defense is continuing to improve, and the Colonels currently lead the conference in total defense with 287.8 yards allowed per game.

"We're young up front, but we're continuing to get better. I'm pleased with our linebacker play, and our secondary's been playing fairly well," Frye said.

Centre's top two tacklers, safety John Ortega and linebacker Brian Downs, are combining to average 20 tackles per game.

On offense, Lorenzo Engleman continues to set the pace for Centre, ranking first or second in the conference in five offensive categories. He is first in all-purpose yards (161 per game), second in rushing yards (101.2) and second in scoring (eight points per game).

Frye said the Colonels have remained aggressive, even in their loss last week. But he said he has emphasized to the players that that isn't enough.

"The thing we were trying to point out was the mental focus that we've got to have to win football games," he said. "It's not the aggressiveness that's going to get us beat, its the mental errors."

Mike Marsee can be reached at

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